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HomeNewsCrews creating fireguards in fight against Dunes West Wildfire

Crews creating fireguards in fight against Dunes West Wildfire

UPDATE: A previous version of this article listed a cause for the Dunes West Wildfire. Alberta Wildfire has since explained its wildfire dashboard had been experiencing technical problems with its software and was reporting all mutual aid fires as human-caused. All fires are currently under investigation and will be updated as they are determined.

The Dunes West Wildfire grew to roughly 1,700 hectares Saturday. The Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership says firefighters on the ground from the City and County of Grande Prairie, as well as Alberta Wildfire, got some help from aircraft during the day, with planes seen flying over the wildfire north of the Wapiti River.

At this point, fireguards have been created around multiple subdivisions, with more in the works. It’s noted that more wind is in the forecast over the coming days, with very little precipitation expected.

The evacuation order for people in the Dimsdale area was expanded Saturday morning, and now includes all residents from Township Road 712 south to the Wapiti River and between Range Road 65 and Range Road 74 as well as all residents from Township Road 710 south to the Wapiti River and between Highway 40 and Range Road 75.

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An evacuation alert is also in place for people living between Range Road 75 to Range Road 80 from Township Road 712 south to the Wapiti River, including the Pipestone Creek area. People in that area must prepare for a possible evacuation. There is no evacuation alert or order in effect for the City of Grande Prairie.

So far, more than 470 evacuees have checked in at the reception centre at Bonnetts Energy Centre. It will remain open overnight. Evacuees are not able to return home, with temporary access granted on a case-by-case basis.

Earlier Saturday, it was reported that no homes had so far been destroyed by the fire, but that some structures had been affected. An update later that night didn’t report on the condition of any properties.

A fire and OHV ban remains in effect for both the County and City of Grande Prairie, along with the towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith and Wembley. No open burning is allowed until conditions improve.

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